The Omega Factor Series One by Matt Fitton, Phil Mulryne, Cavan Scott and Ken Bentley (CD review)

July 28, 2015 | By | Reply More

It’s been 30 years but there is still danger from the supernatural and the occult. ‘The Omega Factor Series One’ picks up the story from all those years ago. The four episodes take us down the terrifying paranormal investigations of Department 7. There’s just one problem, it’s about to be cut.

TheOmegaFactorCD

The first story. ‘From Beyond’ by Matt Fitton finds us in one of those awkward enabling interviews where a top civil servant tries to tell Ann Reynolds (Louise Jameson) that the days of Department 7 are numbered. Those pesky cuts we’ve been hearing about have reached the little set of non-descript office that investigates psychic phenomena. Meanwhile, Adam (John Dorney) has been having sleepless nights and nightmare and he’s in denial about his abilities. His father is Tom Crane and he’s been left a legacy and it’s more than a few shares in Tesco.

As Ann and Adam meet, they fall into an almost dormant project that suddenly becomes terrifyingly real. Adam must face up to his inherited abilities and decide where his own future lies.

The second instalment, ‘The Old Gods’ by Phil Mulryne has Ann and Adam start to work together as they look at a community which eschews the trappings of the 21st century. The Solstice centre offers a retreat but there may be a double edge to its existence. While Ann also fights against the closure of the department, Adam is increasingly disturbed by his own ‘gift’ which seems to be trying to tell him something important. When Adam decides to stay on at the Solstice, he puts himself in danger from the mystical druid leader Edmund Fennick (Terry Molloy).

If you thought it couldn’t get any weirder, it gets weirder in the third episode, ‘Legion’ by Cavan Scott and we really get to the nitty-gritty of the series with some seriously freaky occurrences. Adam and Ann discover the patient who might be the link to Adam’s father and so the battle against the dark begins again.

Finally, ‘The Hollow Earth’ by Ken Bentley sees Adam and Ann following up a lead on the disappearance of many homeless people in Edinburgh. They set up their equipment in a church where the lost and lonely go and meet the vicar and the church warden. Something is being hidden here and something wicked is coming.

This is the final episode and it racks up the fear and tension intensely with a totally authentic feel accentuated by the superb sound design. The actors are fully believable and we just don’t know what is going to happen right until the end. There is also an excellent use of silence, pauses and when necessary very loud noises. My heart was still hammering when it was over.

This is a brilliant revival of ‘The Omega Factor’ that was before my time and definitely after my bedtime. I think Louise Jameson and John Dorney make a razor-sharp foil for each other and the well-written characters really jump out at the listener. There is also a nice clear additional disc of behind the scenes interviews that puts the new stories into the context of the original BBC series. It explains the link ups and continuations which really wraps up the experience. Just don’t listen in the dark.

Sue Davies

July 2015

(pub: Big Finish. 5 CDs 300 minute divided into 3 stories. Price: CD: £25.00 (UK), Download: £20.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78178-429-7)

cast: Louise Jameson, John Dorney, Alan Cox, Sandra Voe, Natasha Gerson, Tracy Wiles, Terry Molloy, Camilla Power, Kate Bracken, Georgie Glen, Hilary Maclean, Derek Hutchinson and Laura Dos Santos

check out website: www.bigfinish.com

Category: Music/Audio, Scifi

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